Author: Izuegbu Samuel Chigozie
Department: Religion and Human Relations
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The issue of good governance has remained a pivotal concern in the intellectual inquiries as it affects the welfare of human beings in the society for which a state exists. This dissertation discusses good governance and the position of the Catholic Church in Nigeria. Many people still consider the involvement of the Church in the process of governance unacceptable and so see any attempt by the Church on issues of governance inimical to the Church and the society at large. They maintain that the Church has nothing to offer in governance of a secular state. Good as such argument may seem, it shows that many have not yet understood the teachings of the Church. The work argues that such may be misleading and capable of making the gospel utopian. The fact is that the Catholic Church as an institution, whose members are citizens of states has a strong stake in the process of governance of any state. The Social Doctrine of the Church which since the time of Pope Leo XIII has taken wide dimension remains a clear evidence that the Catholic Church is interested in both temporal and eternal happiness of her members. In this research, primary and secondary methods of data collection were adopted. The data so collected were thoroughly analyzed with firm objectivity using functionalist and virtue ethics methods of interpretation. A critical review of related literature was done to expose the gap which the current study fills. This was done within the frameworks of conceptual, theoretical and empirical studies. The researcher observed that those in the position of governance have not done what are ethically expected of them. Core values of justice, honesty, transparency and so on are played down. The findings in this research show that the Catholic Social Teaching in the area of good governance emphasizes on the proper exercise of authority and governance, fulfillment of the common good and integral humanism, solidarity especially amongst all ethnic communities, as well as justice for all citizens. In the light of the teaching of the Church, the Catholic Church in Nigeria has not been unconcerned with the problem of governance in Nigeria. The communiqués issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria have continued to advance the position of the Church on good governance by calling for promotion of common good, eradication of corruption, security of citizens, proper development and so on by the government of Nigeria. The researcher recommends that the Catholic Church in Nigeria should adequately form her members and the general public at large in line with her social doctrines and take more proactive (radical) measures to see that it is practiced by the leaders. By that, Nigeria will soon join the comity of nations that have responsible governance.

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